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British Airways confirms uncharged devices will be banned from US-bound flights

UK airline to comply with US government requirements
Tue Jul 08 2014, 15:58


BRITISH AIRWAYS has confirmed it will not allow uncharged devices on US-bound flights.

On Tuesday, the airline confirmed that it would be complying with new United States government requirements, and will be banning uncharged devices - such as mobile devices - on flights bound for the US.

It said, "British Airways is complying with the new security requirements from the US Government on flights from the UK to the US.

"Customers may be asked to turn on any electronic or battery powered devices such as telephones, tablets, e-books and laptops in front of security teams and/or demonstrate the item’s functionality.

"If, when asked to do so, you are unable to demonstrate that your device has power, the device will not be allowed to travel on your planned service."

The US Transportation Security Administration announced the new security measures on Monday, measures which might cause serious problems for air travellers who forget their chargers.

As part of the wider Enhanced Security Measures announced last week, certain airports have begun rejecting passengers who carry electrical devices that cannot be powered on by security officers.

The news comes as the US goverment announced information about a "credible threat" from extremist groups targeting transatlantic flights.

The directive from the TSA states, "As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening."

Although the TSA does not have the authority to implement these rules abroad, UK and European airports might be forced to comply if the TSA chooses to forbid landing by flights believed not to have complied.

The Department of Transport said in a statement to CNN, "The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures, and we will continue to take all the steps necessary to ensure that public safety is maintained."

Precedent for these measures stretches back to 2009 where the US advised staff to decide on a "case-by-case" basis, but this appears to be a blanket ruling across routes regarded as high risk.

The renewed suspicion of electronic gadgets in aviation will fly in the face of recent relaxation of rules on mile high technology use after findings showed no interference with aviation systems. µ


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